Last Sport News Big Midweek: Atletico v Chelsea, Man City, Suarez, Arteta Breaking sport news
MetiNews.Com - .com - Atletico Madrid v Chelsea is a test for Thomas Tuchel but it's Mikel Arteta under pressure this week.
Breaking News ! Game to watch – Atletico Madrid v Chelsea At least 27% of Chelsea’s sluggishness on Saturday can probably be attributed to this looming fixture and their journey to Romania (where else?) to play the La Liga leaders. The good news is that Atletico are missing Jose Gimenez, Yannick Carrasco and Sime Vrsaljko and they have so far looked only one small notch above poor in the Champions League this season; the bad news is that this is still Atletico playing knock-out football and only once have they failed at this stage in their last six attempts. They usually find a way. This is where we learn about this Chelsea side and whether conceding just two goals in seven games under Thomas Tuchel is a true sign of defensive stability or simply an indictment of the quality of teams they have faced. Chelsea have not won a single Champions League knock-out tie since they lost a semi-final to Atletico in 2014. Only Cesar Azpilicueta will remember that particularly brutal dismantling by Diego Costa; since then Chelsea have stumbled and bumbled. Tuchel will barely last the season if they stumble and bumble again. As much as Frank Lampard’s sacking was about a loss of momentum in the Premier League, it was also about nights like this. Sending Lampard into a battle with Simeone would have been needlessly cruel, a mis-match more akin to blood-sports than football. We know how Chelsea play and we know they will need to execute better against Atletico. Tuchel absolutely knows it, which is why he publicly called out Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham on Saturday. The timing – days before the biggest game of their season – is no accident. He demands intensity and any drop in those levels against Atletico will be suicidal. If you can be punished by Takumi Minamino, just imagine what Luis Suarez can do… Team to watch – Manchester City “I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment,” said Mikel Arteta before his Arsenal team were kept at a benign arm’s length by a City side barely shifting out of second gear on Sunday. City are managing games so impressively now that they can play at half-pace against most Premier League opposition and save themselves for these knock-out games. Borussia Mönchengladbach – poor since an eye-catching win over Borussia Dortmund a month ago – could be in for a hiding. And we could be in for a treat. City’s bench on Sunday was extraordinary. None of Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker, Rodri, Ferran Torres, Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy or Phil Foden were even needed against Arsenal, and almost all could slide into that XI with barely a creak in the quality levels. What is extraordinary is that in the one season when barely anything has been mentioned about a quadruple, they are the outright favourites in all competitions. Try putting an asterisk next to that achievement, Johnny. Player to watch – Luis Suarez Three games without a goal might suggest that the 34-year-old is running out of steam.
. In truth Suarez has been as disappointing as his Atletico teammates in the Champions League this season, but this is still the same player who has scored 16 La Liga goals from an xG of just 11.19. For context, Messi has hit 16 goals from 16.07. The Uruguayan is still a goalscorer par excellence.
He is certainly significantly better than anyone Chelsea can boast in that position (and the two teams do play very similar formations) and that fact will not be lost on Tuchel, who wanted PSG to sign Suarez when it became clear that his Barcelona career was over. They gave him Moise Kean instead. Now he would probably take either at Chelsea, where Abraham, Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud cannot match Suarez’s La Liga 16-goal haul in total this season.
Manager to watch – Mikel Arteta
‘Arsenal had two shots in total in the final 40 minutes and didn’t have a shot on target in the second half. If that was down to fatigue, fair enough, but it raises the stakes before their trip to Athens on Thursday night to play their second leg against Benfica’ – Daniel Storey, Premier League winners and losers.
Suddenly, the second leg of a knock-out clash with Benfica in Europe’s secondary competition is Arsenal’s biggest game of the season. There has to be a purpose to this season beyond the next step in a ‘process’ and a battle to finish above Tottenham but still potentially short of a top seven likely to deliver European football. That purpose could be found in the Europa League but Arsenal must be so much better against such limited opposition. Arteta might have skilfully managed Arsenal to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City that nobody could reasonably bemoan, but there will be plenty said if they fall to the same scoreline again. Thank God they’re not at the Emirates.
Football League game to watch – Bournemouth v Cardiff City
6th v 7th. Young Jonathan Woodgate v Mature Mick McCarthy. Harry Wilson’s old club v Harry Wilson’s new club. Steve Cook v Keiffer Moore. And included here because I couldn’t find a good enough reason for Derby v Huddersfield than ‘UTT’.
Source = Metinews.com